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At work we've been considering writing our own accounting package, so I did a little investigation into open source accounting packages. This is what I found:

  • Grisbi - This is a personal financial management package but it seems pretty good. The main advantage I see in a package like this is the fact that it has been kept simple. It supports budgets, financial years, multiple accounts, currencies and users. However it sounds like it does not do double entry accounting which is very strange.
  • GnuCash - It alows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports. The fact that it does not run on windows is a major problem.
  • Lazy8 Ledger - This accounting program is designed for people who have experience in bookkeeping.
  • MyPhpMoney - This is a basic personal financial management system
  • WebERP - This is a PHP based ERP/accounting system. It contains the standard accounting features one would expect. The interface is really basic and not really user friendly. For example when capturing a sales order one has to remember the part code or go to another screen to do a parts search.
  • OpenAccounting - A PHP accounting and inventory system. Features are: complex taxation handling, multi-currency support, sales, purchase orders, inventory and multi-user configuration. The demo site was pretty broken which is not a good sign.
  • XIWA - A double entry accounting system that allows you to import Quickbooks files. It supports multiple ledgers, sub entities or departments within ledgers and does payroll. It is written in Perl and uses a postgreSQL backend database.
  • SqlLedger - SQL-Ledger is a double entry accounting system. Accounting data is stored in a SQL Server. The entire system is linked through a chart of accounts. Each item in inventory is linked to income, expense, inventory and tax accounts. When items are sold and purchased the accounts are automatically updated. The web frontend is written in Perl.
  • Open Business Accounting - OBA is a web based business accounting software modified from sql-ledger to suit accountants ,auditors and who required massive data entry.
  • Compiere - Another ERP/accounting system. It is a Java based application and not web based.
  • Open For Business - A Java based ERP system. This one may was the most interesting of all the applications I looked at. If I had to start my own company I may very well use this.

Another list of free accounting packages can be found here.

None of these really seems to fit the bill for what we are looking for. Oh well.

posted on Saturday, July 16, 2005 2:27 PM
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